FLOWERY BRANCH – Late in the 41-7 rout of Arizona, bewildered quarterback Derek Anderson was seen leaving the field and yanking his chin strap off in disgust.
It was a long day at the office for him as the Falcons basically blitzed him into submission. The Falcons only had two sacks, but they put almost 20 hits on Anderson.
“I know that me and (Kroy) Biermann together had 11 hits,” defensive end John Abraham said. “Hits are good, but with Drew Brees hits don’t matter. If you watch on tape we got a lot of hits on him last year, but he was still completing balls for five or six yards. We have to get him down.”
The Falcons have blitzed Dennis Dixon and Anderson relentlessly and that led to turnovers, too.
Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder was asked if the defense planned to continue the attacking brand of football against Brees.
He paused, then said, “Yeah.”
Here are some more thoughts from VanGorder heading into Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints and their vaunted offense.
ON DREW BREES: “He’s an extremely intelligent quarterback. He’s very involved in the game-planning and schemes, right from the beginning of the week. He gets extremely familiar with the defense and he’s always been a great rhythm quarterback. . . he’s very much aware of the spacing on the field.”
WHAT HAVE YOU WORKED ON TO AVOID THE BIG PLAYS IN THE RUNNING GAME: “You sit there and you’re good against the run, good against the run and then let out two explosive runs. We just have to make sure that our fits are solid and sound. You get 25 running plays and you can be perfect on 24. That one that you’re not, it can lead to that kind of explosive play. We just have to be consistent.”
IS THIS THE FIRST BIG TEST FOR RE-TOOLED PASS DEFENSE?: “We’ve changed up some personnel. We think we’ve improve from a personnel standpoint. I think the emphasis on it has definitely helped from a season ago. Between better personnel and more emphasis on that situation, it’s been good so far. The mark of being really good is consistency. . . we have to be consistent in everything that we do.”
ON COREY PETERS: “He’s a very good leverage player. He’s provided us with some size. He’s impacting the running game up inside. He plays with a very good pad level. He was a natural coming out of college. He’s really helped us shore up the inside which at times for us over the last three years has been a little bit of an issue for us.”
ON WILLIAM MOORE: “William has great size and speed. He’s an explosive player. There were times when you saw him run to the ball and finish on the ball. That’s the most impressive part of his game right now.”